Three perspectives on economic inequality structural functionalism conflict theory and symbolic inte

For example, agricultural and other nonindustrial societies need high birth rates to counteract their high death rates. A society certainly cannot survive if it loses members, but it can thrive only if it grows so that it can meet future challenges.

Industrial societies have lower death rates, but they still need to be able to hire younger workers as older workers retire, while new industries need to be able to count on hiring enough young workers with the skills and knowledge these industries require.

Rebellion is a combination of the rejection of societal goals and means and a substitution Three perspectives on economic inequality structural functionalism conflict theory and symbolic inte other goals and means.

The solution, as Spencer sees it, is to differentiate structures to fulfill more specialized functions; thus a chief or "big man" emerges, soon followed by a group of lieutenants, and later kings and administrators.

Merton states "just as the same item may have multiple functions, so may the same function be diversely fulfilled by alternative items" [cited in Holmwood, Just as the structural parts of the human body — the skeleton, muscles, and various internal organs — function independently to help the entire organism survive, social structures work together to preserve society.

This paper will focus on two of those theories, functionalism and conflict theory. Moreover, it works to reinforce the status quo whereby the rich are able to secure their privilege in society and those who are less privileged are forced to work under the rules of the privileged.

Income Inequality study guide and get instant access to the following: Innovation occurs when an individual strives to attain the accepted cultural goals but chooses to do so in novel or unaccepted method. Functionalism considers society at the structural, or "macro" level, focusing on the roles that institutions and even behaviors play in the workings of society.

Conflict theory attributes world hunger to inequalities in the distribution of food rather than to overpopulation. Conflict Theory In a significant departure from structural functionalism, many scholars who adhere to the writings of Karl Marx regarding capitalism argue that inequality is not necessary, nor does it serve a pertinent function.

It cannot, however, explain why individuals choose to accept or reject the accepted norms, why and in what circumstances they choose to exercise their agency, and this does remain a considerable limitation of the theory.

Continuity and Change by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, which was originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA. Functionalism Functionalism considers population growth and its various components birth, death, and migration as normal and essential processes for any society.

Using the example of religion again, a symbolic interactionist perspective would look at the meanings people attach to religious symbols, which broadly include the religious actions of individuals in society and religious leaders.

This idea stood in marked contrast to prevalent approaches in the field of comparative politics—the state-society theory and the dependency theory. That is, not every job or task is equally important or desirable; these various tasks require different skills and therefore, in order to fill such positions there must be variation in the types of rewards given.

A further criticism directed at functionalism is that it contains no sense of agencythat individuals are seen as puppets, acting as their role requires. However Durkheim made a clear distinction between historical and functional analysis, saying, "When Most scholars who investigate income inequality start from the foundation that there is social inequality that exists in the United States.

Moreover, in this African context territorial divisions were aligned with lineages; descent theory therefore synthesized both blood and soil as two sides of one coin cf.

They argued that, in order to understand a political system, it is necessary to understand not only its institutions or structures but also their respective functions.

Individuals in interaction with changing situations adapt through a process of "role bargaining". This critique is important because it exposes the danger that grand theory can pose, when not seen as a limited perspective, as one way of understanding society.

Socialization is supported by the positive and negative sanctioning of role behaviours that do or do not meet these expectations. The objective is to delineate the assumptions of two out of the three theoretical perspectives and apply these assumptions to an analysis of social stratification.

Where the adaptation process cannot adjust, due to sharp shocks or immediate radical change, structural dissolution occurs and either new structures or therefore a new system are formed, or society dies.

His theory did not however articulate how these actors exercise their agency in opposition to the socialization and inculcation of accepted norms. As has been shown above, Merton addressed this limitation through his concept of deviance, and so it can be seen that functionalism allows for agency.

Recent developments in evolutionary theory —especially by biologist David Sloan Wilson and anthropologists Robert Boyd and Peter Richerson —have provided strong support for structural functionalism in the form of multilevel selection theory. On the other hand, conflict theorists argue that income inequality is part of a socio-structural force lead by elites to increase their wealth and opportunity at the expense of the working and middle classes.

He held that "the social system is made up of the actions of individuals. For Your Review Which of the three major perspectives—functionalism, conflict theory, or symbolic interactionism—seems to have the best approach in how it understands population and environmental issues?

Their social backgrounds affect these perceptions, which are important to appreciate if population and environmental problems are to be addressed.

According to functionalist thinking, all parts of society are connected, and institutions have functions within this organic whole. While too much population growth causes many problems, then, too little population growth also causes problems.

Conflict theory and Critical theory In the s, functionalism was criticized for being unable to account for social change, or for structural contradictions and conflict and thus was often called " consensus theory ". Environmental problems are to be expected in an industrial society, but severe environmental problems are dysfunctional.

Society was in upheaval and fear abounded.Overview of Structural Functionalism, Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interactionism. Created from class handout.

Sociological Perspectives on Social Problems. Summarize the most important beliefs and assumptions of functionalism and conflict theory.

Structural functionalism

Three theoretical perspectives guide sociological thinking on social problems: functionalist theory, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionist theory. These perspectives look at the same social. Conflict Theory and Functionalism This paper will focus on two of those theories, functionalism and conflict theory.

The objective is to delineate the assumptions of two out of the three theoretical perspectives and apply these assumptions to an analysis of social stratification. Functionalism Conflict Theory And Symbolic Interactionism Sociology Essay.

Print Reference this. Published: 23rd March, Case study (Functionalism and Conflict theory) Poverty. This inequality, is having an impact on the family and it is mostly negative.

CRITIQUING AND EXPANDING THE SOCIOLOGY OF INEQUALITY: COMPARING FUNCTIONALIST, CONFLICT, AND INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVES The conventional wisdom in sociology, at least as expressed in the INTERACTIONISM AND INEQUALITY Functionalism and conflict theory appear to be diametrically opposed.

Sociological Perspectives on Population and the Environment. Previous. Next. Learning Objective. Understand the perspectives that functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism offer on population and the environment.

these problems reflect decisions by economic and political elites in poor nations to deprive their peoples.

Conflict Theory and Functionalism Download
Three perspectives on economic inequality structural functionalism conflict theory and symbolic inte
Rated 3/5 based on 98 review